Ron Aurit, a 1974 alumnus, returns to Main Campus to keep the boxing tradition alive by coaching students.
Alumnus and former professional boxer Ron Aurit is returning to his alma mater to instruct a non-credit boxing course.
The course, which starts Oct. 4 in McGonigle Hall, is strictly a non-contact course with an emphasis on conditioning and technique.
“Boxing is the complete workout,” Aurit said. “My program will give these kids a great conditioning and cardio workout without the violence aspect of the game.”
Formerly a soccer player in college, Aurit started boxing after his freshman year at West Chester. After arriving at Temple in 1972, Aurit began to make a name for himself as a boxer by fighting at the amateur level and instructing boxing lessons at Temple his first year.
Aurit graduated from Temple in 1974 and began squaring off in the pros three years later. Fondly referred to as “Yid Kid,” Aurit compiled a solid 12-2-1 record, facing off with the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard and Tyrone Everett.
After his professional career, Aurit focused on educating inner-city youth about the art of his life-long passion.
Aurit taught at various inner-city high schools for nearly 30 years with the intent of keeping children off the streets and in the gym.
“A lot of those kids are considered bad kids, but they’re not bad kids,” Aurit said. “If they have an activity that will get them away from the street life, they will lead better lives. Boxing is the perfect activity for some of these kids.”
Aurit also taught boxing lessons at the University of Pennsylvania from 1976-2001 and he currently teaches physical education at Lower Moreland High School.
“What I try to do is to teach boxing to [physical education] teachers who teach in inner-city schools,” Aurit said. “I teach them with the intention that they will turn around and integrate boxing in their classes in order to give these kids a reason to be off the streets.”
After a 10-year absence from teaching at college campuses, Aurit said he is looking forward to the start of his course at Temple. The fact that it’s at his alma mater makes it that much more special to him.
“I absolutely love Temple,” Aurit said. “They’re great to me and I can always count on them. I’ve never had any problems with them before and I am very much looking forward to teaching on their grounds again.”
As happy as Aurit is to return to Temple, there is one condition that has him displeased. While Aurit was granted space in McGonigle Hall, the university refused to make his program a course for credit.
“Originally, I really wanted to make this program a course for credit in Temple’s physical education program, and so far that hasn’t happened,” Aurit said. “I’m hopeful that it will be made a credited course at some point in the future.”
The Campus Recreation department is the main group responsible for bringing Aurit in and regulating his program.
“[Aurit] is renting out space at the university, but his program is not a class affiliated with the university,” Steve Young, director of Campus Recreation said. “[Aurit] is great at what he does and has good intentions with making his program a non-contact program.
“However, the university does not want to be liable if anything were to happen, and because of that, it is not a course for credit at this time,” Young added.
With that having been said, Aurit said he still hasn’t given up hope.
“Getting space in the gym and being able to teach kids at Temple, that’s the first step,” Aurit said. “Hopefully the university will look at my class and see that what I am teaching is the finesse aspect of boxing, not the violence aspect seen on TV.”
“If they like what they see then hopefully it will be made as a course for credit at some point in the future,” Aurit added.
Since 1989, Aurit has had a strong devotion to charity work. That year he created the “Boxing Scholarship Foundation,” which gives one prospective college student free tuition to the institution he or she is going in order to box.
His foundation has helped dozens of kids pay their way through school and his efforts in trying to teach boxing to inner-city kids has helped hundreds more.
“Since the late 1980s, I have made it my mission to help inner-city kids, particularly Philadelphia’s kids,” Aurit said. “They’ll learn self-defense, get in shape, and will get off the streets and into the gyms. That is why I teach. I want to help out these kids.”
For right now, Aurit has six students signed up for his course at Temple and said he could certainly use more.
“Right now, boxing is my world,” Aurit said. “This is what I live for and this is my mission in life. I want to help kids and I want to help the families of these kids. I want to give them something to live for as well.”
Drew Parent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.